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Crack dealer refuses to participate in trial; convicted of drug trafficking and possession of ammo

justiceCEDAR RAPIDS – An Iowa man with two prior drug trafficking convictions under different names was convicted by a jury Wednesday after a two-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Gregory Givens, age 29, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of one count of possession of ammunition by a felon and one count of possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute. The verdict was returned this afternoon following about two and one-half hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that on October 7, 2010, Givens was stopped by a Cedar Rapids police officer for a traffic violation. When conducting the traffic stop, officers smelled, then recovered a large quantity of marijuana and a box of 9mm ammunition from inside the car. Givens provided the police officer a false name and identification and lied about his criminal history. Later investigation showed Givens had twice been convicted in 2002 in Cook County, Illinois, under two different names, of felony possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

The evidence also showed that on December 22, 2010, Cedar Rapids police officers executed a search warrant at an apartment where Givens was staying. As officers entered a bedroom, they found Givens with his hand in between the mattress and the headboard of the only bed in the room. During the search of the bedroom, officers found a large quantity of marijuana inside the mattress where Givens had his hand and crack cocaine on the floor where Givens was standing. Givens again provided a different false name to officers when he was arrested. Givens’ identity on all of his convictions and arrests was confirmed through fingerprint analysis.

Givens previously pled guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to deliver in Iowa District Court for the marijuana found on October 7 and December 22, 2010.

During his trial, Givens refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the United States District Court, refused to participate in his trial, and refused to be in the courtroom.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Givens remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. On the ammunition conviction, Givens faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment. On the crack cocaine conviction, Givens faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and not more than life on supervised release following any imprisonment.

This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a cooperative local, state and federal program aimed at the enhanced prosecution of gun crimes. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and was investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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